Organized Practice Routine

(4 posts)


  1. animitta

    Hello to everyone,
    i want to open this new post about the practice dedicated to the music, both teoretically and phisically.

    I would like to know, especially from Kurt if possible, but from all other the readers, if you have or you had a specific organized time dedicated to the practice and what you practiced. I think about John Coltrane for example, he was a really dedicated and religious musician who practiced intensively. I found some similar attitude inside the musical details of your music and Trane's music,especially about some way of soloing and at least i will say that you had study his language. Did you had a period of your life in wich you studied intensively the instrument and the music? Cause i find you are evolving, not from the worse to the best, this is not my meaning, i just think your style is still developing new aspects as time goes by. I suppose you are continuing to practice constantly and i would like to know wich are the main aspects of the art of practicing that you care more. I know that at your level of craftship also the practice is beatifull playing and not only "hard work", cause, at least for the mortal being, to practice is nice but it's work : ).So... When you think to need to study something you like, wich is your way to approach the study?
    I hear many triads, slash chords, arpeggios, pentatonics, scale pattern, quartal harmony, great counterpoint, terrible sense of swing, sometime "dirty wild" swing and so many other things inside your playing that i can't describe cause i still dont know what they exactly are : ). Have you practiced about every singolar aspect of your playing, thus these things have been evolved and still evolving by "themselves", or you continue that practice consciously?

    Sorry for the long post and i hope to have not been to many "psicological" or confused, i am not mother english.

    Thanks to Kurt for all the great music and thanks to everyone who would like to give his personal answer about the post.

    All the Best

  2. Hey good question. I think people work in different ways but I don't think Kurt practiced in the same way as Trane at all. At the clinic he did in Montreal he said he would basically just go into a room and play and not worry so much about what he needed to work on because those things would come up naturally and he would start working on them as they came up. You know what I mean? It wasn't like he was like OK "1 hour for scales and 1 hour for chords and 1 hour for tunes etc...." it was just "sit down and play" and whatever problems come up, work on them as they appear. That way seems to work the best for certain types of people, and I find it works the best for me because I never end up practicing everything for an exact amount of time or anything like that you know? Trane worked in a different way because that was his personnality. Even just by looking at Mark Turner and Kurt you can see this phenomenon. Mark is clearly much more "thorough" in a regimented kind of practice-routine way. Kurt seems (from what I know) a lot more stream-of-consciousness and he just works on things as he goes along. The important thing is to do what is natural to you and for Kurt this way has obviously worked. But everyone is different and everyone works in different ways, so don't just practice like Trane because that's what Trane did, he did that because that was his personality, that's what he wanted to do and it was natural to him. So yes I think some people do practice every aspect of their playing but I think others don't and it develops naturally, it's different for all of us and you just have to find what way is the way for you.

  3. cruxtable

    i've always had a problem with practicing....hard for me to focus and get stuff done sitting with a guitar for a long period of time unless i'm doing it for a particular reason - like i'm going to sit down and learn a tune, or practice improvising over a tune. most of the time i don't have a lot of time to practice for hours, with classes all day and homework at night...most of my practicing over the years has been with my computer, playing along with band in a box, improvising on a tune over and over. i think i need some more solid practice time, more structure, to work on exercises, voicings, tunes, transcribing, etc...

    i'd be interested to hear how everyone else approaches practicing.

  4. Alvin

    Hey, guys!

    Thanks, Animitta, for sparing me the trouble to post this thread myself! :)
    I couldn't agree more on this different routines for different personalitys thing. I mean, I used to make a list of things to practice on the paper before each practice session and I would just go through it. When I didn't get to the end, I'd continue from there the next time. And I found that kind of approach helpful... for me and for some time.
    I read from the Joe Diorio website his suggestion to make a things to work on list and spread it out for a week. I.e. monday-write a tune, tuesday-figure out different chord voicings for that tune etc.
    I find it a little too strict, because when a person wakes up in the morning and has a mood for technical excersizes but the calendar says to write a tune, then it just won't work...
    One very useful tip in Diorios example of a hypothetical week schedule was, if I remember correctly: saturday for only listening to different kinds of music and sunday for silence and meditation. I think, having these kind of days is veeery important!

    I also strongly suggest reading Kenny Werners "Effortless mastery". Certainly not a waste of time! :)

    Take care


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